Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Naga of Antarctica In The Vishnu Purana

Vishnu Purana, Book II, Chapter V:

PARÁŚARA.--The extent of the surface of the earth has been thus described to you, Maitreya. Its depth below the surface is said to be seventy thousand Yojanas, each of the seven regions of Pátála extending downwards ten thousand. These seven, worthy Muni, are called Atala [Antarctica], Vitala, Nitala, Gabhastimat, Mahátala, Sutala, and Pátála. Their soil is severally white, black, purple, yellow, sandy, stony, and of gold. They are embellished with magnificent palaces, in which dwell numerous Dánavas, Daityas, Yakshas, and great snake-gods. The Muni Nárada, after his return from those regions to the skies, declared amongst the celestials that Pátála was much more delightful than Indra's heaven. "What," exclaimed the sage, "can be compared to Pátála, where the Nágas are decorated with brilliant and beautiful and pleasure-shedding jewels? who will not delight in Pátála, where the lovely daughters of the Daityas and Dánavas wander about, fascinating even the most austere; where the rays of the sun diffuse light, and not heat, by day; and where the moon shines by night for illumination, not for cold; where the sons of Danu, happy in the enjoyment of delicious viands and strong wines, know not how time passes? There are beautiful groves and streams and lakes where the lotus blows; and the skies are resonant with the Koïl's song. Splendid ornaments, fragrant perfumes, rich unguents, the blended music of the lute and pipe and tabor; these and many other enjoyments are the common portion of the Dánavas, Daityas, and snake-gods, who inhabit the regions of Pátála."

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